By Ken Rossignol
The Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge who was appointed to the bench by Gov. Martin O’Malley and found her judicial career intertwined with her relationship with her boy-toy burglar lover has now quit the bench in order to halt an investigation that could have disrobed her permanently.
The affair of Judge Audrey Creighton was exposed by her lover, an ex-client while she was a public defender, was convicted earlier this year of kidnapping her and fleeing in her car before crashing it last year. Rickley Senning needed legal advise during the time he was living with the Judge and an opponent in last year’s election provided political dynamite to the election when he alleged that Judge Creighton had improperly acted as an attorney and gave legal advise and perhaps wrote statements for Senning.
The super secret process of investigating a sitting judge in Maryland does not allow for any of that good old transparency magic that politicians in Maryland love to talk about. Instead, the process is cloaked in secrecy with little of the affairs of Judges exposed to the public. The resignation apparently is the antidote for a pending negative decision by the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities.
The life-time salaries of Judges equal the same amount in retirement. Creighton’s time on the bench, just over a year, hopefully won’t make her eligible for retirement, nor her age, but since this is Maryland, anything is possible.
Senning had multiple criminal convictions including stealing guns and burglary prior to becoming the Judge’s live-in lover. Given all the information available to the Judicial Panel investigating her, it might be safe to assume — and that is all the public can do — the Maryland Judicial Disabilities Commission could have stripped her of her post. By resigning, she will be able to be referred to has “Judge Creighton” and can continue to practice law.
Ironically, her resignation will leave the door wide open for the appointment of the Montgomery County attorney who took on the sitting judges in last year’s election and won a spot on the ballot by winning the GOP primary. With no Democrat in the Governor’s chair, which was Creighton’s entry to the bench, it may be that Daniel Connell will be appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan.
From The Montgomery County Sentinel:
ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Audrey Creighton has retired from her judicial duties effective July 3, officials confirmed.
She will apparently use accumulated vacation pay and/ or accumulated leave and will no longer be on the bench from now until her retirement date, according to sources.
“I have just been informed she has retired effective July 3, but that it is her intention to use what leave she has between now and then,” Administrative Judge John Debelius III said.
Creighton’s retirement announcement comes almost a month after multiple sources confirmed the Commission on Judicial Disabilities had serviced disciplinary charges against her for judicial misconduct. According to the Maryland Rules on Judicial Conduct, the charges can become public 30 days after the Commission notifies the judge in order to give the judge time to respond.
The 30 days would have come up on June 17. The rules governing the Commission do not make specific provisions about how an investigation proceeds should a judge resign prior to the charges becoming public. However, the Commission no longer has jurisdiction if a judge resigns during an investigation, according to David Nitkin, spokesperson for the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.
“If a judge resigns from the bench during an investigation, the Commission on Judicial Disabilities is divested of jurisdiction,” Nitkin said.
Governor Martin O’Malley appointed Creighton to the circuit court from the district court in April 2014. Voters elected her, along with three other sitting judges, in the November 2014 …..MORE